Inequalities: Your Next Exciting Instalment

One month ago we cited the majestical study of health and wealth published in JAMA.[1] A fortnight ago we cited Angus Deaton’s insightful commentary on this study.[2] This week we draw your attention to a study of wealth and health inequalities, based on panel data (derived from national censuses) in eleven European countries covering two decades from 1990 to 2010.[3] The study was designed to look for associations between socio-economic class recorded in the censuses and deaths, overall and in major categories, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. They also re-categorised deaths in classes that may indicate behaviours, such as smoking and alcohol. An overall reduction in age-specific mortality was observed over the study period. The study also showed that inequalities were growing wider when relative risks were compared, but absolute differences declined in nine of the eleven countries (including England and Wales). Absolute inequalities in smoking related deaths declined, but they increased for alcohol-related deaths.

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Chetty R, Stepner M, Abraham S, et al. The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014. JAMA. 2016; 315(6):1750-66.
  2. Deaton A. On Death and Money. History, Facts, and Explanations. JAMA. 2016; 315(16): 1703-5.
  3. Mackenbach JP, Kulhánovâ I, Artnik B, et al. Changes in Mortality Inequalities over Two Decades: Register Based Study of European Countries. BMJ. 2016; 353: i1732.

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